Rules for special events relaxed in response to new COVID guidelines

The Austin Center for Events (ACE) says it's revising the Bringing Events Back: Event Reopening Guide and the COVID-19 Health and Safety Form currently required for special events applications. Revisions to the guide and application process will take effect next week.

Officials say applicants can anticipate changes to the social distancing requirements and masking requirements to incorporate the latest guidelines

Providing proof of vaccine for patrons will not be a requirement for event applicants, officials say. Any pre-admission proof of vaccine protocols will be up to event organizers to determine.


"Since the beginning of the pandemic, public health staff and residents of Austin and Travis County have come together to slow disease transmission in our community," said Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott in a news release. "Now that we have vaccines widely available in our community, and more than 50% of our population has taken advantage of that opportunity, we are able to relax our guidelines and our rules. As we continue along this positive path, many people may return to their normal activities and more special events will begin taking place."

ACE says it anticipates an increase in event applications and has been working closely with event partners as they make plans for summer and fall events as conditions improve.


"Special events are one way we connect to art, live music and some of the cultural experiences which make Austin unique," said Development Services Director, Denise Lucas. "Relaxing COVID safety requirements for special events permits is a signal that we are able to return to normal. We are ready for events to come back safely so we can all support our local event organizers, vendors, artists and musicians."

In March 2021, the City of Austin announced guidelines outlining COVID-19 safety measures so that events could reopen.